tv Irans Nuclear Ambitions CSPAN January 5, 2013 11:00pm-12:40am EST
well, you have to sell to someone, and who do you sell to if not the public? so you create it, but the public does not exist anymore. glenn beck had so many bestsellers. ann coulter has so many best -- i know you do not need to sell a lot of books to have a best seller. these people -- i remember -- i realized many years ago when the "left behind" series came out about the rapture. these were the number-one selling books in america, and it was right over my head, and that is when i realized that there is no answer to that question. the second part of it, you know, i like the serendipity engines. i like the browser. i like slate. i love arts and letters daily. i like to go to talking points
memo. i go to note for political stuff. of course, i read the new york times. i belong to an anthropologist listserv because i care more about neanderthal than anything. it is very quirky in strange and i love my twitter feet. it has a lot of people, 20 times more than i do, but it is really good. >> i want to thank the kierkegaard of our media age for her wealth of knowledge tonight. >> thank you so much. >> thank you, so much. >> and i would like to thank both of you for an entertaining and fun evening. >> let me also note that there is a book signing at the door as you leave. >> and the book is great, and i highly recommend it, and it is funny.
national captioning institute] >> during his weekly radio address president obama talked about the fiscal cliff agreement reached by congress. and what needs to be done to address the deficit. house ways and means committee chairman dave camp delivered the republican address. >> hi, everybody. over the past year as i traveled across the country campaigning for this office i told you that if i was fortunate enough to be reelected i would work to change the tax code that too often benefited the wealthy at the expense of the middle class. for the first time in two decades we raised taxes in a bipartisan way. while preventing a middle class tax hike that could have thrown our economy back into a recession. under this law, more than 98%
of americans and 97% of small businesses will not see their income taxes go up one dime. we also made sure that millions of families will continue to receive tax credits to help raise their children and send them to college. companies will continue to receive tax credit force the research they do, the investments that they make, tand clean energy jobs that they create. and 2 million americans who are out of work will continue to receive unemployment benefits so long as they are actively looking forward a job. but all this was just one step in the broader effort to grow our economy and shrink our deficits. we still need to do more. and our economy can't afford more protracted showdowns or manufactured crisises along the way. because even as our businesses created 2 million new jobs last year including 168,000 new jobs last month, the brinchingsmanship in congress made business owners more
uncertain and consumers less confident. we know there is a path forward. last year i signed into law 1.7 trillion in deficit reduction. this week's action further reduce it is deficit by $737 billion making it one of the largest deficit reduction bills pass i by congress in over a decade and i'm willing to do more. i believe we can find more places to cut spending without short changing things like education, job training, research and technology, all of which are critical to our prosperity to a 21st century economy. but spending cuts must be balanced with more reforms to our tax code. the wealthiest individuals tand biggest corporations shouldn't be able to take advantage of loopholes and deductions that aren't available to most americans. as i said earlier this week one thing i will not compromise over is whether or not congress should pay the tab for a bill they've already racked up. if congress refuses to give the united states the ability to pay the bills on time the
consequence force the entire global economy could be catastrophic. last time congress threat bd this course of action our entire economy suffered for it. our families and our businesses connot afford that dangerous game again. i congratulate the newly sworn in members of congress and i look forward to working with the new congress in a bipartisan way. if we focus on the interest of our country boof the interest of party i'm convinced we can cut spending and raise revenue a mariner that protect it is middle class and we can step up to meet the important business that awaits us this year creating jobs boosting income fixing our infrastructure promoting our independence while protecting our planet. educating our children and shielding them from the horrors of gun violence. these aren't just things we should do they're things we must do and i'll fight as hard as i know how to get them done.
happy new year. >> i'm congressman dave camp from the fourth district of michigan and chairman of the house ways and means committee. let me be candid. i understand the frustration so many americans have with washington right now. and you're right, this government we have spends too much and wastes too much. it's time for us to stand up and say enough is enough to those who attack and spend even more. that's why the republicans in congress took critical action this week to protect hard-working taxpayers from massive tax hikes. americans are paying more for gas, more for groceries and more for health care. the last thing they need is to pay more for washington. that's why we made sure the temporary tax cuts passed a decade ago were made permanent. now we can look forward. speaker boehner has said that the american people reelected a republican majority and we will use it in 2013 to hold the president accountable for the balanced approach he promised. that means cutting wasteful
spending, strengthening programs like medicare and social security, so that they're there when americans need them. and creating a tax code that creates a healthy economy. let's face it the i.r.s.ed to is still a nightmare it is too complex, too costly and too unfair. there's something fundamentally wrong when roughly 06% of hard working taxpayers have to hire a professional just to do their taxes. you shouldn't need an army of lawyers and accountsents to understand our tax code. we need a fairer tax code designed for taxpayers. that's why we need to work on real solutions to return accountability to our tax code by eliminated special interest loopholes. when it comes to the tax code, everyone should play by the same rules. your tax rate should be determined by what's fair not who you know in washington. the simple truth is that we are in this fiscal mess because washington takes too much of your money and then wastes it.
that's the real problem. and it needs a real solution. we have to make sure washington is accountable for every tax dollar it spends. we have to make sure that your money is spent efficiently and effectively. unfortunately, the spending problem is getting worse not better. under president obama we have had four straight years of $1 trillion deficits. our national debt is now over $16 trillion. we're crushing today's small businesses and the next generations of americans, under a mountain of debt. we're selling their future. and our country's financial independence to china. many of our democrat colleagues just don't seem to get it. throughout the fiscal cliff discussions the president and the democrats who control washington repeatedly refused to take any meaningful steps to make washington li within its means. that position is irresponsible, and fails to acknowledge what every family in america already knows. when you have no money in your account, and your credit cards are maxed out, then the spending must stop. that's the current financial
reality facing america aps we turn our attention toward future discussions on the debt limit and the budget we must identify responsible ways to tackle washington's wasteful spending. so as the house returns for the 1 sp 9sdz congress in 2013 our resolution is clear. we're committed to making our economy stronger and healthier and getting our spending under control by making washington fully accountable to you. the hard working taxpayers of america. we're going to fight wasteful washington spending and deliver the accountability you demand and we call on the president and congressional democrats to join us in that fight. god bless you and god bless the united states of america.
>> they put us in a field and i don't know someone took a shot, as soon as a shot was fired i went down and i think something like 96 tanks passed and they each one would fire into the group and then they came around anyone that was moaning that shot. just put it simply near this town the 150 were made captive and about 84 of them were then shot down by ss forces that captured them. the survivors including ted played dead in the field after they were fired on by machine guns at close range from the
distance from myself ea at the podium to you sitting in the audience, machine guns were fired at these men. they didn't run. they fell to the ground. >> december 17, 1944 an american convoy is spotted and captured. sunday night at 9:00 eastern and pacific. this weekend on c-span 3. >> the munching debate is an event in toronto bringing together news makers and leaders to debate current issues. how the world should respond to iran's nuclear program. panelists included "washington post" columnist and cnn host. this is about an hour and 40 minutes.
>> well, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the munk debates on iran. this is the munk debate on iran's nuclear ambitions. it's my privilege to both organize the series and once again act as your moderator. we begin tonight with a look back at some of the memorable moments of previous munk debates because tonight is a special evening for this series. tonight we convene our 10th semi-annual monk debates. on the stage as we enter our fifth year we hosted over 38 speakers. speakers such as christopher hitchen. tony blair. henry kissinger. who can forget him. paul crugman and larry so
maniers and it's thanks to you that people here again tonight for a munk debate, thousands more watching on line, all of you representing our 30,000 strong membership. this debate series undenyably is making a lasting contribution to more and better public debate not only in canada but internationally. we're doing that through global tv and radio broadcast through our home grown champion supporters of this debate and through our unique publishing program that has seen these debates translated into a dozen languages and published throughout the english speaking world. undeniable that this series is having an international impact. all of this would not be possible again without you our members our attendees and two
other very special people. ladies and gentlemen, please join me in a big round of applause for tonight's our tenth semi-annual debate and host and originators of this series. peter and melanie munk. bravo. ok. the moment we've been waiting for. let's get our two teams of power house debaters out on to the stage and our contest under way. arguing for the motion resolved the world cannot tolerate an iran with nuclear weapons capability.
well, given tonight is an anniversary of sort whose better to have on stage than one of the debaters from our winning team in our very first debate in 2008. he writes a must read column in the "washington post" on u.s. and international politics. it's syndicated in over 150 newspapers around the world. his analysis and steely reputation on fox news for not suffering gladly made him one of the world's most influential commentators. well, given recent events in
the middle east we are very fortunate indeed to host charles' debating partner, an individual whose career in the israeli defense force was synonymous with the nuclear threat that has confronted his country. highlights include being one of eight f-16 pilots who strapped themselves into jets and destroyed the reactor in iraq. most recently up until 2010 playing a key role in managing israel's overt and covert campaign against iran's nuclear enrichment program. now, let's get out on the stage the equally forbiddable duo who will be orging -- arguing.
leading johns hopkins prestigious school. born in tehran one of the world's top experts on the political and social development of iran. and he's the author of two best selling books, the shia revival and democracy on the iran. served as a senior advisor recently as 2011 for afghanistan and pakistan to the late richard holbrook, former munk bedator.
now, when you think of provocktiff conversation on the big foreign policy challenges of the day you have to think about our next debator. his flagship global affairs program on cnn is seen in over 200 countries worldwide. but he is anything but a talking head on cable tv. he writes a highly respected column for the "washington post" and is the editor at large of time magazine. his numerous best-selling books include the post american world and the future of freedom. now, we are just moments from getting our debate under way but before we hear opening statements once again i am going to need this audience's assistance as the night goes on
to make sure our debators stay on time in terms of their opening and closing remarks and that we move forward as a debate together. so you will see this countdown clock appear when it reaches 0 applaud this will let our debators know that their time is over for their opening and closing statements. and finally before we kick off the debate let's see how the 3,000 people gathered today voted on our resolution be it resolved the world cannot tolerate an iran with nuclear weapons. this is as you took your seats. let's see those numbers there. you will have it on your projection screen here. 60% in favor of the motion. 23% opposed. 17% undecided. now, we all answered a second question depending on what you hear during the debate are you open to changing your vote? how many proverbal swing states
do we have in the audience? let's see those results. wow, that's different. past munk debates we have seen higher levels of potential vote changes. so this debate is very much in play. now, time for opening statements. as we've agreed to the order. >> thank you very much. thank you for that kind introduction. there are nice introductions, there are kind introductions. the nice ones where they list your achievements, they get a copy made and note rised and send it to your mother. the kind introductions are the ones where they leave stuff out. for example, i appreciate you leaving out the fact that i once worked for the famously liberal senator walter mon dale. people ask me, wrong reaction.
people sometimes ask me how do you go from walter mon dale to fox news. i tell them it's easy, i was young once. also i appreciate the fact that you left out that i was once a psychiatrist. technically i still am. but in reality i'm a psychiatrist in remission. doing extremely well, thank you. i haven't had a relaps in 25 years. and sometimes i compare what i do as a political analyst in washington with what i do now with what i did back then as a psychiatrist in boston and i tell people as you can imagine it's not that different. both lines of work i deal every day with people who suffer from paranoia and delusions of grandeur. the only difference is that in washington the paranoids have access to nuclear weapons. which makes the stakes a little higher, the world a little more
interesting. which leads to tonight's debate. nuclear weapons in the hands of a revietnam like iran. can we live with it? and the answer is no. i will give you three reasons to start off the debate where i think so and then we'll get into the details as we go on i'm sure you'll enforce the six-minute rule. the first reason and i think we have to look at this in con centric circles of decreasing size, the global, the regional, and the local effect. the global problem, the global threat is that the world has been for 60 years trying to curtail and prevent the spread of nuclear weapons. hyper proliferation is the ultimate world nightmare. we congratulated ourselves when brazil and argentina announced nuclear weapons. imagine what a world would be like where iran, the most important most powerful most aggressive and according to the state department the greatest exporter of terror in the world
, the most aggressive state, the most radical state in the middle east acquires nuclear weapons. that's the end of nonproliferation. do you think the weaker nations in the region are going to take refuge in the parchment of the npt treaty? no. here's what will happen. uncontrollable nuclear proliferation throughout a region. roiledly revolutions and sectarian blood feuds. those are the words of henry kissinger who knows something about deternts when it works and when it doesn't. we'll get an instant nuclear arms race, all the important neighbors, saudi arabia, egypt, turkey, syria, think of syria, god knows who will be in charge of syria. they'll all have gone nuclear assuming that iran will go nuclear first. and it's not just in the immediate middle east.
this will spread in the region. our opponents will speak reassuringly about deterrence. the experience that we've had is that the stable deterrent in a bipelar system, the united states and soviet union. a bilateral stable system. imagine you have to do a deterrent with six, seven eight countries that are unstable, some revolutionary, and with shifting alliances. how do you enforce or rely on deterrence in those circumstances? you can get accidental or unauthorized use. you can get theft. you can get the deliberate proliferation into the hands of terrorists. imagine if al qaeda would do what it did on 9/11 if it would hesitate for a second if it got its hands on nukes and using a nuclear weapon on such an attack in the future. that's the threat, that's the end of nonproliferation and end
of the reliance on deterrence. second, we have always tried to prevent a hedge mon rising in the middle east in control of the world's oil and strategically importance to the region. that's why there was an iraq war in 1991 over the invasion of kuwait. what the arabs understand in the region is that once iran is nuclear, it becomes the hedge mon of the region, the most aggressive radical islamist anti-western state in charge of the strategic area of the middle east. that's why the gulf states in private have beseeched the united states to take out the nuclear program in advance and why if israel were ever to attack iran's nuclear facilities the saudis would line the desert with directional arrows saying this way to tehran. now, lastly, and i'm running out of time. i hope perhaps you'll desist from applauding at the six minute mark or at least the 60%
of you who aren't sympathetic to our view -- who are sympathetic to our view and drown out the others. is that this is a regime that has threatened to inile late israel and express its intentions to do so. we are our -- we have to rely on deterrence because it worked on the cold war. it was radically different. it was not existential. and the target the united states was a continental nation of great size israel is a one-bomb country. that's a very strong 27% i commend you on your energy there. i will stop here and say there's a radical difference between the soviet-u.s. relationship and relationship of israel and iran. and you will not ask 6 million
jews in israel to rely on their existence on deterrents in this kind of situation. thank you very much. >> charles if i would it would make you feel any better henry kissinger didn't get away with it, either. >> good evening. thank you for that introduction. it's a pleasure being here. let me start by saying it goes without saying that the world would be better off if iran does not become a nuclear armed state. and achieving that goal should be our principle aim going forward. however, despite our best efforts, that undesireable end may very well come to pass. should we act as if this is the first time we've encountered such a challenge or that the logical containment and
deterrence somehow does not apply to iran, that iran is a breed apart outside the realm of politics as we know it? the answer is no. as troublesome and men asing as iran has been its behavior still reflect it is pursuit of national interests. it has a strategy. it pursues it. and in the course of doing so it reacts to incentives and pressure. we don't approve of its method but we understand its goals. in short, iran is a familiar problem. one with which we have plenty of experience. during the cold war, we managed to see prosperity in europe and asia containing both nuclear armed soviet union and china. we may parse details as to the similarities in the middle east but the principle is very clear. and we are still guaranteing peace and prosperity in asia by containing a very dangerous
north korean regime that is armed with nuclear weapons and on a weekly basis threatens to set seoul on fire. india tue has been prospering while tolerating grave nuclear danger from a country neighboring which is known for its instability adventurism and support for terrorism and that situation has been going on for over two decades and yet there is a stable containment situation in which the indian economy has prospered. it is often argued that iran is different because the iranian regime is irrational and it's macianic so much so impoifyuss to the logic of containment and deterrence. it is assumed that iran's singular aim is to start a nuclear armageddon the minute that it acquires nuclear weapons that it is actually religiously mandated to do so. there are plenty of american
politician that is believe in the rapture but that does not mean that you can read american foreign policy on the basis of that suggestion. if iranians were truly driven by messianism in their foreign policy they would have reacted when the shrine most directly was attacked. the last time they attacked a neighbor was in 1959. the record of the past three decades shows that as objectionable and problematic as iran's behavior has been, it is still driven by the cold calculations of rejet stream survival and national interest. you don't need a degree in islamic study to understand iranian strategy or to conclude that the regime that has survived in power for three decades could not be suicide al or completely reckless.
in fact, despite its bluster and support for terrorism, iran has been more accepting of international norms that was the case with communist china or the case of north korea or even pakistan. we talk about proliferation issue but let us remember it was pakistan while in america's tight embrace and not iran that began to act as a nuclear edict. if we were -- if we are to say that we will not tolerate a nuclear iran if that becomes the case then we have to basically say we are prepared to go down the path to war with iran. we should ask ourselves can we tolerate another major war in the middle east? this time with a country that is twice as large, twice as populous as iraq, it has much larger land mass, that its capital city is 2,000 kilometers and two mountain ranges away from the nearest port facility. will that war actually be effective? will it get the job done?
how long will that war take? five years? ten years? 20 years? longer? how much would it cost? how many more trillions of dollars would this war cost the united states? how many americans would die in such a war? ten,000? 15,000? more? how would such a war impact the middle east or america for that matter? do we want such a war? can we tolerate it? it seems that americans have already answered this from the president on down they have answered these questions very clearly and it's a resounding no. they don't want such a war. the good news is that they don't have to have it. if it becomes necessary, if the efforts, the sanctions to stop iran in its tracks were to fail we can manage a nuclear iran just as we managed a nuclear soviet union, communist china, north korea, and pakistan. thank you.
>> while the debate is shaping up nicely. >> it is 2 a.m. in tell aveeve and i'm the only one who is not speaking english every day. but it is much more frightening to have a real gun pointed directly at your face than watching it on cnn or reading about it in the "washington post." last week, israel was showered with 1500 rockets and missiles from gaza aimed at the israeli innocent people. innocent citizens, women and children. those were iranians rockets and missiles supplied to hamas and
islamic jihad in gaza. iranian leaders are the only state leaders calling for the destruction of a u.n. member state. the supreme leader the president the chief of staff are using daily expressions like anhillation, cancer removers, wipe off the map and point at israel. the iranian leaders are also holocaust denires. our grand parents in europe 70 years ago in their wildest dream never imagined that hitler intended to do exactly what he had said. i suggest that we take this current iranian threat very,
very seriously. why? because iran has a cruel and radical regime both regarding internal and external issues. they hang 16 years old gay on cranes publicly. they torture their own citizens and kill them in prison. you know the canadian photographer who was arrested, tortured, raped and killed in an iranian prison. they crack down on the opposition. iran is also number one sponsor of state global terror. and for many years they do exercise terror all over the world. in the 80's, in bay route. they bombed the u.s. embassy,
they have killed more than 200 marine soldiers in the marine bare yaks in bay route. the israeli embassy in ben os airies. and what they are doing today in syria supporting asad killing more than 30,000 people of his own citizens. this is the iranians. they back every negative regime in the world. and imagine iran possessing nuclear weapons. will this be passed on to terrorists? just as the best iranian weapons have made their way to hezbollah, hezbollah is the only terror organization in the world with ballistic missiles and uav drones. why is there not iranian
nuclear weapons? but this is not only the terror aspect. a nuclear iran will be the end of npt as we know it and the middle east will become even worse neighborhoods. saudi arabia, they really care, they're concerned about a nuclear iran more than israel. they will go to pakistan the next day. they already paid for the bomb. they only have to bring it back home to a chinese missile, egypt, turkey, iraq, every country who believes to be a regional super power will no nuclear. nuclear balance that will include many participants is not stable. and if it is just israel against iran, the main concept of mute tule assured destruction that basically
stable the cold war is not there any more. because there is no communication between iran and israel. we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the cuban missile crisis. at that time, the soviet union as an embassy in washington, d.c. bobby kennedy, the brother of the president went to the ambassador in the soviet embathy in d.c. and they closed a deal how to deeessclate a war that was about to have a nuclear war. there is no iranian embassy in israel. there is no line between the prime minister's office and the supreme leader. the world must stop iran. this is not an israeli problem. the iranian regime is stands against everything and every value we stand for. freedom, human rights, rule of law, women's rights. everything.
last word. if you believe to the international plan and the new book i am the only one in the world who has taken part in three operations. two were very successful. two were very successful and spared the world of nuclear weapons in the hands of cold deck tators. the international community must take care of this. last this time a nuclear gun we look at all of us squarely in the face. thank you.
>> there you see on display the discipline of an idf officer who always completes his mission. regardless of the casualties. final opening statement. >> thank you very much. i really understand the position of the opposing team. i understand the fear. i understand the danger. i understand the challenge. let me put this in some historicle perspective. after the cold war the united states is the only country in the world with nuclear weapons. and then the soviet union acquired a nuclear weapon. and there were many people who felt, many soors people that this was an absolute calamity and that the only recourse the united states had was a preemptive war against russia against the soviet union. this was a position not held by wacky war montgomeriers d
morningers. the cool unsentimental british diplomat argued in favor of that. but a man like dwight eisenhower understood that roll back, a strategy of preemptive war, would have huge costs and under go huge consequences. so he opted instead for a strategy called deterrence and containment. keep the soviet union in a box, put pressure on them so that they find it difficult to operate, and maintain the deterrence that says if you try to do something you yourself will be inhileyated. now remember the soviet union at the time was regarded as a wild crazy revolutionary power. remember that stalin had just sacrificed tens of millions of his people in world war ii in the eastern front something that was unfathomable. they were routinely called irrational, crazy, wild,
macianic. all the things we here about iran. but we learned the proper course of action was containment and deterrence. then we watched this again in china. john kennedy feared that if china went nuclear 25 downtown rizz would go nuclear. china did go nuclear and mow was truly crazy openly talked about the need for a nuclear war. he said it would cause sacrifices but it would be educational. and he said half the world would be destroyed but the other half will be socialist. now that's a crazy, more macianic comment than anything the iranian mullas have ever said. yet what we learned is that mow could be contained and then deterred. and then we watched this in the country i grew up in india. india and pakistan fought a war every 15 years after independence. they fought three wars in 30
years. and then they got nuclear weapons. and in the last 40 years they haven't fought a war since. now, every time you will of course see tension and you will see crises like the cuban missile crisis because the powers are in conflict with one another. but what's extraordinary is that during the cold war despite this intense geopolitical rivalry which would have all history would have suggested that the united states and soviet union would have gone to war with one another they didn't because of nuclear weapons, because they were deterred because of the fear of what it would mean. margaret thatcher understood this in 1989 she gave a speech standing with good-bye chove and said you and i mr. secretary general know that conventional weapons have never deterred war in europe. but nuclear weapons have done so for 40 years. she said in 1989 make that 70 years. north korea when it went nuclear we were told all of
asia would go nuclear. you could understood why south korea is still in the state of active arms it's at war with north korea and yet that hasn't happened. south korea hasn't gone nuclear, japan hasn't gone nuclear. the lesson of north korea has been if you're a third rate dysfunctional country that manages to acquire a couple of crude nuclear devices you remain a third world dysfunctional country with a couple of crude nuclear devices. power does not flow from the barrel. it flows from your innovation and technological power. and so we come to israel. and we come to the challenge that iran places there. and what i would argue is that the iranians are cool, calculating, shrewd far more so in their rhetoric and actions certainly in their actions than any of the regimes we are talking about. they will be deterred. they will be deterred by israel's 200 to 500 nuclear
weapons. remember israel has many submarines so that they have second strike capacity. they will be deterred by america's vast arsenal of nuclear weapons. they don't have any yet. we're talking about a hypothetical situation. and yet what we are talking about is a war in the middle east where we are go and strike a regime preemptively. and what would happen? the regime would gain support at home. every regime that has ever been attacked by foreigners has the effect of rallying people around that regime. we will be able to destroy part of the infrastructure but they will be able to rebuild it very quick lifment israel's own estimates is that they will delay the program by two years. you would radicalize the middle east and turn the mullas and this regime into a much more popular force in the middle east than it is now. we have a containment strategy. we have enormous pressure on them.
they have not been able to develop a nuclear weapon. the israeli intelligence that i have received in my ten years as a journalist every year for the last ten years i have been told that iran is one year away from getting a nuclear bomb. either israeli intelligence is very bad or we have been very good at deterring and containing iran. >> well there's a professional broadcaster for you one second to spare. well done. there's so much that we need to discuss from proliferation to deterrence but what i think in the mind of many people in this room tonight is what's happened in the last number of weeks the conflict between israel and gaza. and let's have you begin this. you've argued in a sense that iran is seeking to acquire a
nuclear device to dominate the arab world not destroy israel. yet as we heard from the general those very missiles, those very long range missiles that were fired for the first time by hamas and islamic jihad on jerusalem and on tell aveeve were proudly provided by iran. but why is he wrong about the intent of destruction and why are you right about the impetus toward domination? >> well, first of all iran and israel have been in a low level warfare with one another over a number of decades. he referred to the back and forth over what happened in south lebanon with the bombing and retaliations that iran did in argentina. there have been attacks on israel here and there. currently as we're speaking there's cyber attack operations
as well as assassination on their scientists. but launching a nuclear weapon is a whole different order of magnitude in terms of escalation particularly against the country which has several hundred nuclear war heads with much more accurate ability to deliver with second strike capability off of submarines. iran is in no way in a position to be able to take israel on at that level. now, of course iran would brandish these missiles very proudly. it wants to change the conversation in the middle east from syria and itself to the eye rab israeli issue. it also wants to tell the arabs that it's providing ammunition to the palestinians to stand up to israel. in the past it has got a lot of ground in the arab world because of these two things because the limelight has shifted from them and what they're doing in syria and also because it's seen as the only government in the region that is providing material support to the palestinians. it's called calculation about
what would promote their position in the region. >> sounds rational. cold calculated moving forward shift attention away from what was happening in syria. why don't you buy that analysis? >> this argument that iran is acting purely from nationalist motive cold and calculating simply makes no sense in relation to israel. iran and israel were allies, friends, until the revolution. there's nothing intrinsic about iranian national interest that drives it to want to destroy israel. it is precisely the ideology of the mullas. it is precisely the theology of the mullas. it is precisely the idea that the rev lution is ayatollah khomeni explained the revolution in iran was the spark of the return of the 12th a maddie the restoration of the cal fate and islam's place in the world and in order to achieve that as they have been
saying for the last year for example the destruction of israel is the beginning of the redemption of humanity. is that nationalism speak sng is that national interest speak sng the other society trying to pretend that somehow the iranian regime is cold and calculating. then why is it risking everything by supplying arms to hezbollah and hamas? how does that promote the iranian national interest to involve itself in the civil war in syria where they are becoming hated by the sunni arabs because they are arming and protecting an and even sending revolutionary guards into syria to kill imprison and to torture sunni muslims trying to achieve freedom in syria? no. this is a highly ideologically driven regime and at the top of its ideological and theological list is the anileation of israel. and our opponents are saying
it's rhetoric. this is a nation only interested in its own interests. >> let's come back on this critical point of what's the most recent conflict between gaza and israel. >> two points. let me answer charles' question first. the reason the iranians espouse the palestinian cause is because this is a shiite persian regime that is trying to have dominance in the middle east. how do you do that with a bunch of arabs? by appropriating their most important cause. if you go to the streets of cairo which i have done many times what is striking is that when you talk to people it's the photograph they have in the shop is ahmadinajed, a shiite persian. and you ask them why do you have that photograph? and they say because he support it is palestinians. iranian regime very canly understands that by appropriating the core cause of the arabs they are in effect
outwitting the arabs themselves. they're saying your governments are scared of washington to support the palestinians. and it gives them enormous credibility and it is what makes arab countries very scared of publicly opposing iran's rights to power. to your question what does the gaza and persians tell -- incursion tell us one thing very clearly. there is now a new middle east. and israel is the super power in that middle east. the egyptians under a new government we were told were going to be different islamist ideological you know muslims are crazy and then you put one in power like that and you know what's going to happen. guess what he did. he followed the mubarak policy which is basically to try to broker a deal between hamas and israel. why? because israel's defense budget today is larger than that of all its neighbors put together.
that doesn't even begin to get into the technological advantages it has the qual tative advantages it has the enormous advantage of being the only country in the middle east that has sophisticated nuclear weapons on sophisticated delivery systems. and so when confronting that yes the turks will make very fine speeches in favor of the palestinians and the egyptians will she had crocodile tears but none will do anything because they are deterred. >> if israel did not believe in deterrence why has it gone through the enormous expense of building a nuclear arsenal? it's presumably to deter its enemies not to use it. >> that direct point to you because some people have commented that what the conflict between israel is israel needs deterrence on its
military action, its range of military action to force it to its negotiating not through conflict. how do you respond that? >> i think we have to go back to iran. i don't know what we are doing in gaza right now. because we're speaking about iran. and basically, the argument that the cold war deterrence principles are going to work in the middle east. because just listen to the president of iran what he had said that israel is a wup-bomb country. very tiny, very small. and the proud islamic nation can absorb three to four bombs. is that deterrence? no, it's not. and you know when the americans and the soviets were doing the
calculations both of them have lived in this world. and they want to continue to live in this world. we have a business with people who think about the second war. the second life. they invented the suicide bombers. they send kids to open field mines in the war with iraq. these people are rational but it's not our rational. it's different. they have to call somebody over there and i'm very, very worried about the way they are making their decisions. >> let's spend one more moment on this before moving on to the question of proliferation because that's a big one. you've written a series of books on iran, a country from which you were born. why is he wrong to think that
there is this irrational macianic force maybe not amongst the iranian people but amongst the elite and leadership who can make the decision on whether to engage in nuclear conflict or not? >> the fact that people are willing to die for a cause is not unique to muslims. during world war ii you had japanese cam causeies. suicide bombing is a poor man's weapon and it's proven very effective and that's the reason it's being used. secondly rulers always can manipulate the popular belief of foot soldiers to get them to sacrifice themselves for a greater cause. it's not unique to iran. it's happened all over the world. not only in iran across the muslim world, the person, the foot soldiers who is willing to commit suicide for a cause can believe in anything. but the generals don't believe in that. the iranian leaders are old men. they didn't get to that age by actually believing in suicide bombing. they didn't carry not one of
them carried it against the shah's regime, not one has sent his own son to carry out a suicide regime. yes, of course he is right in the fact that the morality and ethics of this regime are abhorrent and fanatical kids to achieve their objective. there is no evidence that iranian rulers make the calculations on the basis of wishing to expedite their own departure to the next world. [applause]>> let's move on to nuclear proliferation. to do that, over the last week or so, we caught up with a few international policy thinkers to get their reflections on this debate. we will bring them to you in the form of video clips now. the first of these was senator george mitchell, we spoke to in washington dc earlier this week.
the former u.s. senate majority leader. he was barack obama's special envoy for middle east peace until 2011. let's listen to that clip. pre-k's thank you. good evening. the debate on this subject tends to focus on the threat to israel from a nuclear armed iran. that is a concern that i share. i am sure it will be discussed this evening. there is another aspect of the subject that i think deserves discussion as well. that is the threat of the nuclear nonproliferation regime. stated more simply, the danger of the rapid spread of nuclear weapons to many countries. the united states led the world in a nuclear age. ever since, they have also led the effort to restrain the spread of these highly destructive weapons. with some success.
in the half-century since the first atomic bomb was exploded over the desert in new mexico, nine countries have come to possess nuclear weapons. the number of countries with the capability to possess those weapons is many times more than nine. most countries which are voluntary -- voluntarily refrain from nuclear weapons, one of which is canada, have relied on the nuclear nonproliferation treaty and on american leadership. if iran gets a nuclear weapon, that could change. it could trigger an arms race in the middle east, as several countries there moved quickly to get their weapon. it is already highly volatile and very dangerous place. right now, israelis and palestinians are dying.
the ancient hostility between persians and arabs remains high, as does the internal conflict between sunni and shiite muslims. that has gone on since the founding of islam. >> it was a big part of your opening argument, the case for stopping you ran from -- to allow the nonproliferation, go deeper on that. why do you think this particular region is so important? with china, with russia, with india and pakistan, in particular with north korea. >> the geopolitical conditions are radically different. back to the stable cold war deterrence and the bilateral relationship between the to establish world powers -- the us and the soviet union. first of all, the nostalgia is slightly overdone.
anybody who lived through october 1962 knows how close we came, within hours of nuclear war between the united states and the soviet union. even that great example of how we can live with this indefinitely. inherently, it is unstable. once the soviets have 10,000 weapons in the us also does, there is no alternative. we are now in a situation which is that iran has not, and we can avoid that. avoid a cuban missile crisis. it should be at a much higher elevated level if you ran went nuclear. why would we choose a world where you ran -- iran was unstable? a country that declares its intention to annihilate a member state of the un. you would notice that our
opponents have nothing about the issue of hyper proliferation. they keep referring to this single example of the stable bilateral deterrent. what will happen in the middle east, as everybody understands, is you will get all of these countries, small, but some of them rich, some technologically advanced, developing -- then you have a situation of nuclear checkers. it becomes three-dimensional chess. unstable regimes. imagine in the hands of seven or eight of these countries, nuclear weapons, countries where they could have accidental unauthorized use. they do not have -- how easy it would be to turn one officer or
another, as we see in afghanistan every day. an afghan will turn on a western ally. there is also the issue of -- >> there are a flurry of signals, people who want in on this. >> it turns out, we have a historical experiment as to whether or not there is proliferation in the middle east. it turns out, there was a middle east that had no nuclear weapons, and then one middle eastern power introduce nuclear weapons into the middle east. the name that country is israel. israel now has between 200 and 500, depending on who you believe, very sophisticated weapons. none of the countries surrounding israel, which are technically still at war with israel, have gone nuclear as a result of that. if the hyper pluralist ration -- proliferation scenario is true, why is it that the sworn enemy,
that he keeps reminding us that the arabs hate, got nuclear weapons but did not trigger proliferation? the truth is, every country that has received some kind of security guarantee from the united states has not chosen to proliferate. japan, south korea, canada -- the touching states in the nonproliferation treaty, the reason that people are not proliferating is because they get guarantees from the united states. they have provided to the arab states and to israel. >> you asked the question, is it rhetorical or is that a real question? why is it that when israel requires a nuclear weapons you do not get hyper proliferation? israel has no intention to
annihilate a neighboring country. [laughter0-- [applause]do you think egypt and saudi arabia live in terror that israel is going to destroy one of their cities? and is really weapon is not a threat -- >> they are not worried about a war with israel. >> everybody understands the reason. israel is not going to start nuclear aggression. it is inconceivable. whereas iran, intervening in gaza, arming and hezbollah, intervening in syria and elsewhere, when it trends to annihilate another, people take that seriously. >> we have a lot of people --
equal time for all the debaters. we will go back to you. >> as you have already said, the arab countries to take israel's nuclear capabilities in as a strategic game changer. maybe not an annihilation. there is no evidence that hyper collaboration would happen. it seems to be more of an american argument in order to argue against the case of iran going nuclear. it looks like those countries to try to say they want to go nuclear were supporting egypt, saudi arabia, to establish nuclear facilities. i do not think countries can easily build nuclear capabilities. iran's nuclear program goes back several decades to the time of the shah. most countries do not have the
infrastructure to build a nuclear weapon program. saudi arabia can go to pakistan and get it, then what are we doing here? these two countries are our allies. we have much more leverage to prevent proliferation in this region than we had if iran. -- with iran. are making the case with all of these countries to go new layer -- nuclear, but there is no evidence for it. >> i think the fact that you repeat again and again a lie, is not making it a truth. i am speaking about the number of bombs that israel has. israel declares it will not be the first to introduce nuclear weapons to the middle east. israel is the only country that is under threat that it will be wiped off the map. do not recognize any other country in the middle east. when our neighbors make peace
with us, even the capabilities that we have -- israel behaves very responsibly. we have four wars with egypt. we never spoke about anything besides conventional weapons. it is a different behavior if you compare it to the way the iranians are speaking and what they are doing. what they are doing all over the middle east, you cannot ignore it. vali, you know, you read the wikileaks. we are not going to tolerate nuclear iran. they are your allies, but they do not trust you anymore. they do not trust you because of what is happening in egypt. they do not trust you because you are not stopping you ran from becoming nuclear. they do not trust you because of the israeli-palestinian issue.
we already spoke about a multiplayer balance with the middle east. it is so unsafe and so dangerous, it is not only us that do not want to live in this neighborhood. it is you that do not want to live in this neighborhood. the price of oil will be $200- $300 a barrel, and it will stay there forever. [applause]>> to final interventions on this point. then we will move onto another topic. >> i think it is important for us to have a conversation about what happens if the strategy that the opposing team wants takes place. we are living in a world of bad choices. that is the world of international relations. that is the world of international politics. you do not have wonderful solutions that make the problem go away.
imagine the scenario -- the united states and or israel goes and engages in the third middle eastern war in a decade. we go and strike iran. what is going to happen? if we cannot tolerate it, the logical consequence is one you'll have to live with. it's play it out. -- let's play it out. the regime will get strengthened. it happens everywhere. one week after 9/11, george bush's approval ratings were high. the nuclear budget for him on -- iran is currently $300 million. they will have radicalized the middle east. the will have gained. all this for a two or three year delay, what are you then going to do? bomb them every few years?
hope that the country that we keep bombing turns into a moderate, liberal democracy? and suddenly embraces western ?alues question mar [applause]it is far more likely they will get far more radicalized. if we had done what charles wanted in the 1950's and had a rollback strategy. you could not do it with the soviets once they got 10,000 missiles. many argued we should have had a preemptive war. imagine what would have happened then. imagine if we had done that in china and engaged in print or. -- preemptive war. they would have been radicalized, violent, unstable regimes. that is the fate we are condemning ourselves to if we launch another war in the middle east. [applause]>> charles, that has
to be one of the -- >> i would like to answer, if it is not rhetorical. we can at least accept that there might be an answer. fareed is giving us this example of what will happen if and when we attack. he went on and on and elaborated with all the details. the problem with the analysis is that we have these historical examples of exactly what he is talking about. the preemptive denuclearization of a country. the gentleman beside me was involved in the first. he dropped bombs on iraq in 1981. direction from iraq was zero. did they go to work? did they
attack? was there rallying? no. >> what the inspectors found was an iraqi nuclear program. >> this was 10 years later. the west went into iraq and found it had not rebuilt and created a bomb. it gained a decade. in 2007, there was an attack on the syrian facility from north korea that was a nuclear facility. the reaction, zero. syria did not even announce the attack. second, if we have not done that, what would be happening in syria today? the world is terrified about the loose, goal and biological weapons that are in syria that we know are there, that the regime has declared, and that the al qaeda elements in syria could easily acquire.
that is why we are standing on the border in jordan. the reason there are no nukes involved, is because of the preemption. that is why the hyper proliferation is so important. the assurance we get from our opponents that somehow there would be this great reaction of violence to the regime. this regime in iran was protested by a majority of the people. particularly by the young, as we saw in the revolution. it was suppressed. if the us attacked, they would not only attack nukes, but attacking nuclear -- revolutionary guard, that could be a revival of the revolution. the young people in the streets are not heroes. they would not become heroes if they were to be the victims of a us or israeli attack on a nuclear facility.
i think it would have the opposite effect. galvanizing a population at a time where the regime would be at its weakest. [applause]>> nasr, you are the expert on he ran. why is that not true? >> size of population, the amount of way, it could potentially be orders of magnitude. i do not know of any population that will side with the outsider bombing its country. [applause]especially because, this is not about democracy. we are not putting sanctions on iran about democracy. you are not bombing iran for democracy and human rights. it is for something that potentially the iranian people believe in. their technology, their government. the iranians are probably as
affectionate about their nuclear program as the pakistanis are about theirs. >> we bombed and the population applauded us. >> you were bombing to protect them -- >> you just said no government was attacked and the people rallied on behalf-- >> i gave you an example. >> what makes you think that iranians, with the example of 1953 when we intervened in the round,-- in iran, or even the moderate, liberal democratic that relation -- population -- >> a regime that shoots young women in the street and delivers the body to the family. there were people who opposed
their oppressors and their torturers. when it happened in libya, they rallied to support the united states. >> we heard all this about the iraq war. the iraqis were going to love us because we were bombing them into freedom and democracy. [applause]>> gentleman, it is 2:00 in the morning, tel aviv time. >> the resolution is not whether to attack iran. it is whether the world can live with a nuclear iran. since they do not have arguments, they went to the attack. we are not suggesting attacking iran. we suggest, let iran be nuclear.
doing everything, this was not done yet. only in the last year, the war proposed crippling sanctions. if we had done it a decade ago, we would not have this question now. the regime is a hated regime. i held the argument, if you just sanction them, the people will rally behind the regime. never happened. the people hate the regime. 65% of them are very young and they never knew the shah, and they blame the islamic republic for the problems. tough sanctions will change the regime. not attacking iran unless it is a last resort. once again, i am not speaking
on other countries. what you did in iraq was a mistake. we can serve the public. i am not recommending it yet. [applause]>> let's move onto another topic area. a little contribution from dr. henry kissinger. we caught up with him in new york last week. let's have a listen to his intervention in this debate. >> thank you. for a decade and a half, american presidents from both political parties have declared that an irani and military nuclear capability is unacceptable. no option is off the table in preventing it.
emer ran images -- he ra iran ges with a military nuclear capability, the psychological and strategic powers in the region will be transformed. the countries of the region and elsewhere will look to the development of nuclear weapons for their own security. nonproliferation as an international goal will be severely jeopardized. the ability of western strategy will be severely damaged. it is essential that the united states and its allies define what they mean by irani and
nuclear military capabilities. and what they mean by the term unacceptable. >> fareed, let me start with you. he said the credibility of western strategy would be severely damaged. your president in the context of this recent election, said to walk towards a red line on he r iran. in some ways, has the train already left the station? is the us position able to walk back from what dr. krauthammer and amos yadlin are arguing question ma? >> how do you argue with that accent. i have great respect for him.
i think that you the united states's position on this issue, which is a somewhat technical point, is understandably ambiguous. you do not want to signal in advance exactly what point you would go to war. you know who else has the same position? the government of israel. even though the israeli prime ministers has been asking washington to draw a red line, israel has not drawn a red line itself. i would argue, they are right not to draw a red line. you want to keep the other guy guessing. you want to keep the pressure on. you do not want to be entire clean -- entirely clear as to when. you do not want to give the other person a timetable for war. if they do an action that triggers an obvious response, but in a situation like this, we contain much more room to maneuver if we maintain some degree of strategic ambiguity, as the israelis are doing. it is important to point out,
the iranians do not have a nuclear weapon. it is something worth pointing out today. not only do they not have nuclear weapons, but the supreme leader of iran has issued a religious edict saying it would not be wise to have them and the founder of the regime felt islamicon islamic -- un0- to have them. but a regime that relies on the legitimacy of religious edict, nobody is asking them to say this stuff. the fact that they are doing this suggests that he ran may have a complicated problem of their own. it buys them a certain degree of influence. they are not seeking to have an arsenal already to go. that reality is one we have to live with. in trying to figure out exactly
what iranian action would trigger an american or israeli response. that is why the americans and the israelis are maintaining that ambiguity. >> could i comment on that? >> of course, he could be lying. an interesting understatement. here is a regime that has allowed its currency to depreciate by 60%, has had its economy completely wrecked, has been isolated because of pursuing a nuclear program, and we are to believe that the ayatollah are to supersede what we see in front of our eyes. here is the regime -- >> he endured the worst sanctions of the world. is beingink you roiran theatrical? i am talking about the real
world, what is happening right now. >> this is the real world, not a fantasy, i do not know if you got that. >> saddam hussein -- you are saying that iran is faking its nuclear program da? is iran faking its nuclear program? >> no, it has an active nuclear, civilian program. serious iranian scholars believe -- are unsure as to whether they have made a final decision if they want to weapon that completely, or do they want to stop short, because that gets them most of the benefit, the influence that they seek without incurring the cost. that is an issue on which american and israeli intelligence --
>> i want him to respond to that. it is about walking up to that line, not going over it. >> if somebody is to understand that the iranians are smart, sophisticated, and they have learned history. history told them that libya, syria, and iraq -- pakistan, india, and north korea. they are not going to the bomb. they are going to the bomb as safe as possible, not as fast as possible. it is a sophisticated strategy to develop a nuclear strategy. they call it civilian, but it is
not civilian. when it is revealed that has become overt, joining the so- called civilian program, we will enable them to become nuclear. strategically, they go to a nuclear weapons, and they will have all the difficulties that they have now. it is difficult to stop them at this time. iran said to the security council, not by the zionist movement, but to the security council, the un watchdog, because they cheated and lied,
nuclear weaponization, they found high levels of -- they did not let the head of the program. they know exactly where they are going. >> i want to be conscious of our time. we need to get to closing statements so that we can have a final audience vote before and 9:00. a me give you the last word before we move to closing statements. >> there are many reasons why they would want nuclear capability. or an actual bomb. it has to do with regime survival. if what you are saying is true, then sanctions and diplomacy will not work, and we are back
to the argument. do we want to go to war? are we going to agree that we can handle this question mark you said that aggressive sanctions may work. international pressure may work. according to you, they have already made the decision that they're going to do this, because it goes down that they do not want to face serious, iraq, and libya. if that is the case, the only option on the table is that we detain and deter them, or we go to war with them. >> we will bring the podium out so that closing statements can take place. we will do the closing statements in the opposite order of the opening statements. so, fareed zakaria, you are up
first. [applause] >> when i was a kid in college, i invited reagan's defense secretary to the campus to speak. there was a huge amount of commotion and many protests against him, all from the left. in an audience aside, they were standing up and chanting against him. what they kept saying, the phrase they kept using was, deterrence is a lie. in those days, it was the left that did not understand deterrence. they were emotional and irrational and they felt there had to be a better way around it. it was the wise heads, the people on the right steeped in realism, history, tragedy, who reminded us of the need for deterrence. one such person put it, he said , almost once every 25 years, a
new generation discovers the horrors of the bomb and the paradoxes of deterrence and looks for a way out. alas, there is no way out. deterrence, like old age, is intolerable, until one considers the alternative. that was charles krauthammer, about 25 years ago. [applause]what i want to say to charles is, come home. come home to be sad task of building a powerful containment and deterrence strategy against iran. but once in iran with nuclear weapons. one wishes to place every obstacle in the way. of coarse, we want to have precisely the same strategy that we had in the cold war. so that eventually, we create
circumstances where the young people of the iran can take the country back and they will have acquired a desire for modernity and for integration with the west. and for freedom and liberty. that is the course we are trying to move on. there is no fantasy solution out there that says we cannot tolerate this. and we are going to go to war instead. and we will preemptively strike a another country in the middle east. and they will love us for it and embrace us. and the problems of the middle east will go away because we got rid of that evil thing. that is not how it works. international politics and rivalries will persist. the middle east will continue to be a complicated place. we have just gone through a decade of two wars in the middle east. both were sold to us on the promise that this would usher in a new area in which everyone would love the united states and the west, and all the problems that existed would go away. yes, we find yourselves in the
same situation. i say, come home, charles krauthammer, come home to the region and history and logic that you once so powerfully believed and argued in. just because these guys are different, and they are brown, and they are colored, the it is not a fantastic solution. [applause] >> oh, google. the things we find out about each other. [laughter]up next, amos yadlin. >> once again, i have to remind you that this debate is not about attacking iran. this debate is about not letting iran become nuclear. because the world cannot afford
a nuclear iran. it is not the same story. it is not really the same story as the cold war. this is a regime calling for destruction of another country. i never remember the united states wanting to destroy the soviet union, and vice versa. so, it is another story. i think people underestimate what will happen and what kind of world we will live after iran would become nuclear. it is not an issue of deterrence. it is an issue of proliferation all over the middle east. i am a general. i thought in many wars. nobody hates war more than me. i have been there. i saw the blood, i saw the pain , i saw the waste of resources,
i saw the cry of the widows and the orphans. we do not call for war. we call for the world to wake up and stop iran before there will be a nuclear war. when you run out of arguments to speak about the war that nobody advocates. we advocate a sanctioned regime against iran. everyone join, the russians, the chinese, the indians. iran must be stopped. irathey do not want to be the hd of the middle east.
it is very similar to what happened in europe in the 1940's. we cannot allow this anymore. as an intelligence officer, you have to give full answers. what are the enemy's capabilities? and what is the enemy's attention? if you have good sources, you give good answers. how many kilograms of materials do they have? the iranians tell everyone their intentions in the open. they want to destroy israel. we have to take it very seriously and stop iran from being nuclear. thank you. thank you. [applause]>>